I came across an article in the Finnish newspaper, Ilta Sanomat (IS) today, concerning ‘Honor’ related violence in Finland. The article (paper version only) is in connection with a larger story by IS journalist, Jani Parkkari, concerning a recent episode in which an Iraqi woman was forced to flee to Helsinki to escape her violent father who had threatened to kill her.
Jani Parkkari explores the phenomenon of Muslim honour related violence in Finland, in an article titled, ‘Vaiettu kunniamurha’ or ‘The silence over honour murders’. Parkkari interviewed Reet Nurmi, the director of the Multicultural Women’s Resource Center MONIKA, an organization founded ten years ago that helps immigrant/Finnish women experiencing domestic related violence, for some background material, and comments.
The article reports that the MONIKA director, Reet Nurmi, “emphasizes that religion is not to blame. The Koran does not permit violence towards women. What’s in question, is tradition and culture, something of which people are very slow to change their minds about.”
That is of course untrue, there are ample passages from the Koran, and especially from the Hadiths, that sanction violence towards women, which then can lead to violent murder. The Tundra Tabloids then got into contact with Nurmi, who admitted that she never heard about the passage from the Koran, 4:34. According to Robert Spencer:
“Qur’an 4:34 tells men to beat their disobedient wives after first warning them and then sending them to sleep in separate beds. This is, of course, an extremely controversial verse, so it is worth noting how several translators render the key word here, وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna.”
Pickthall: “and scourge them”
Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”
Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”
Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”
Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”
Rodwell: “and scourge them”
Sale: “and chastise them”
Daryabadi: “and beat them”
Asad: “then beat them”
Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Al-Hilali/Khan, Shakir, Sher Ali, Khalifa, Daryabadi and Asad are Muslims. Are their translations all “incorrect and offensive”?
Laleh Bakhtiar, in a new translation that has received wide publicity, translates Qur’an 4:34 as “go away from them.” In light of this unanimity among the translators, both Muslim and non-Muslim, this seems difficult to sustain – all of these authorities got the passage wrong until Bakhtiar? But her impulse is understandable, as many Muslims today regard this verse with acute embarrassment. Asad adduces numerous traditions in which Muhammad “forbade the beating of any woman,” concluding that wife-beating is “barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided.”
Unfortunately, however, this is not a unanimous view. Sheikh Syed Mahmud Allusi in his commentary Ruhul Ma’ani gives four reasons that a man may beat his wife: “if she refuses to beautify herself for him,” if she refuses sex when he asks for it, if she refuses to pray or perform ritual ablutions, and “if she goes out of the house without a valid excuse.”
Quran- 4:15 “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witness from amongst you against them; if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Or God ordain for them some (other) way.”
Quran-24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day.”
Quran-17:32 “ Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
Quran-33:33 “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display.”
Now some sahih hadiths:
Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 196:Narrated Abu Huraira: A man from Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Apostle while he was in the mosque and called (the Prophet ) saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” On that the Prophet turned his face from him to the other side, whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and repeated his statement. The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side again.
The man moved again (and repeated his statement) for the fourth time. So when the man had given witness four times against himself, the Prophet called him and said, “Are you insane?” He replied, “No.” The Prophet then said (to his companions), “Go and stone him to death.” The man was a married one. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari said: I was one of those who stoned him. We stoned him at the Musalla (‘Id praying place) in Medina. When the stones hit him with their sharp edges, he fled, but we caught him at Al-Harra and stoned him till he died.(See also Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 195.)
Sahi Bukhari: 8:6814:Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari: “A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse; and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.”
Sahi Muslim No. 4206: “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2. pg 1009; and Sahih Muslim Vol 2. pg 65: Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiallaahu Anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hadhrat Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verse revealed (in the Quraan). We read it, secured it and understood it. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person might say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby go astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of a adulterer/ress is found in the Quraan and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession.”
Al-Bukhari:The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever guarantees me that he will guard his chastity, I will guarantee him Paradise”.
Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i and others: Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “No one commits adultery while still remaining a believer, for faith is more precious unto Allah than such an evil act!” In another version, it is stated, “When a person commits adultery he casts away from his neck the bond that ties him to Islam; if, however, he repents, Allah will accept his repentance”.
Al-Bayhaqi:The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O mankind! Beware of fornication/adultery for it entails six dire consequences: three of them relating to this world and three to the next world. As for the three that are related to this world, they are the following: it removes the glow of one’s face, brings poverty, and reduces the life-span. As for its dire consequences in the next world they are: it brings down the wrath of Allah upon the person, subjects him to terrible reckoning, and finally casts him in hell-fire.”
NOTE: A special kudos to the journalist, Jani Parkkari for attempting a difficult subject, I believe that he just barely scratched the surface though.